Bowing to strong opposition from New Jersey’s 12 Jewish federations and other philanthropies, the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs has abandoned a proposed regulation that would have required charities to advise donors that their gifts can be directed toward specific programs.
The move came on Aug. 19 and was announced by New Jersey’s Center for Non-Profits.
The proposed rule would also have required charities to inform donors that if they did not designate their gifts to a particular effort, the charity could use them for other purposes.
Critics worried that such a rule would limit their ability to direct money according to an organization’s perceived needs and priorities.
“There was a lot of opposition from nonprofits, especially the stronger ones — the ones that follow best practices,” said Jacob Toporek, executive director of the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations and a member of the Center for Non-Profits’ board.
“I think the rule was proposed because there are several nonprofits that don’t follow best practices and make a bad name for everybody else, but when we first heard about it, we said, ‘We are already doing this,’” Toporek said. “These rules would be redundant and add additional burdens.”
The Division of Consumer Affairs may issue a formal notification in a forthcoming edition of the New Jersey Register, according to the center, which was asked to disseminate the information.